Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chic Habits: The At-Home Facial

The at home facial. I have almost but forgotten about at home exfoliation and mask, which I used to do religiously twice a week, or once if I was slack. I have reached a new level of slack. The facial I had recently brought this to light.

My French beauty therapist commented on my skin being a lot more dry and sensitive than it had been the first time she had seen me eight months previous. She said the oil had trouble soaking in when she did the facial massage.

I have always had quite oily skin and had a lot of problems when I was younger with oiliness and acne, right into my twenties, so to hear this I almost don’t believe it. I am almost forty now, so I can’t expect oily skin to keep me looking young forever. And I can't keep using skin products designed for normal/combination skin forever.

She asked if I used a good night cream (the cream I have been using is quite light, not good) and was I exfoliating at home. Um, no.

The silly thing is when I did at home exfoliation-and-mask religiously (1-2 times per week) I really enjoyed the whole process. It felt quite spa-like to be in the bathroom with a basin of warm water, a clean hand-towel folded beside me, hair pulled back with a white toweling headband.

Last night I re-started my at-home routine. First, exfoliation with a gentle, natural scrub. I have also used baking soda but found it made my skin a bit pink. I will persevere with baking soda though as I know it's meant to be gentle. But in the meantime I bought an exfoliating product.

After washing off the scrub, I used the Centella floral mask which I purchased from my French beauty therapist. It can be left on or washed off as it is a moisturising one and does not dry like a clay mask. She said it can be used overnight in place of a night cream. It looks creamy and rich and contains wheatgerm and castor oils, as well as essential oils such as cinnamon bark, citrus, lavender, thyme and rosemary.

I also did my hand scrub. To finish off my home facial, I do a hand scrub, with a divine product I won in a magazine giveaway. It is called One Minute Manicure and the one I have is made from the oils of: walnut, grapeseed, avocado, apricot, jojoba and vitamin E mixed with dead sea salt and essential oils (peppermint, orange, lemon, rosemary, spearmint and ruby grapefruit - yum!).

On dampened hands I pour a small amount and proceed to exfoliate my hands thoroughly (using movements like washing them) taking special care around the drier areas like knuckles and the inside of the index finger. Also around the nails and cuticles. When it is washed off in warm water my hands feel like angels should be singing. They are quite soft from the oil, but I also add a rich hand cream like the delicious L’Occitane shea butter one.

It is actually so lovely to use that I would consider purchasing after my gift one has run out. Of course I would try to make some first with salt and olive oil, but after that maybe.

Why did I stop these face and hand treatments? Why Fiona? Would Sabine lie on the sofa watching tv in preference to beautifying herself? I don’t think so. And it’s not even like the two are mutually exclusive. I can mask, then lie. Thinking about it, mask then meditate is probably a better option. I could dim the lights in our bedroom, leave my husband in the living room, settle myself under a rug with relaxing music playing and then drift off on a rose petal, thinking soothing thoughts.

I bought a copy of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Short Meditations’ by Susan Gregg and there is a great relaxing exercise in it:

The Rose

Everyone knows how to visualize, but we all do it differently. While one person may see images, another person may feel them or hear them. This meditation helps you practice visualization. If you try really hard, images often remain elusive, so just allow yourself to relax and have fun.

Think about a beautiful rose. Imagine a single drop of dew on the edge of one of the petals. Allow yourself to gently be with the image. How do you perceive it? If you find yourself saying, ‘I can’t see a rose,’ just let go of that thought and think about a rose. What colour is it? How big is it? Does it have a scent? Can you see any thorns? Just allow yourself to play with the idea of a rose.

Focus on the texture of the petals. Is the rose fully open or is it a bud? Imagine yourself getting really tiny and sliding down the petal of the rose. When you reach the end of the petal, see yourself floating effortlessly in the air.

Is the rose alone, in a garden, or in part of a beautiful bouquet? What does the light feel like as it reflects off your rose? What thoughts and feelings come to mind as you think about a rose?

I can guarantee if you allow yourself to play with the image, you will be able to ‘see’ it. Relax, breathe, and play. Those are three wonderful concepts that can add immensely to the quality of your life.

I chose this book out of all the others at our local Borders bookstore because it seemed the most down-to-earth and simple way to learn how to meditate. It has lots of different tips and many little meditations like the one above, which I have found very helpful as a meditation novice.

So now I'm back in the saddle, one at-home routine behind me and all is well again this morning in the land of beauty. I will do another in 3-4 days. I like to schedule them when I am washing my hair the next morning then I don't have to worry about product getting into my hairline.

If you'd care to join me, please let us know what chic habits you would like to bring into your life, either on your own blog or in the comments here.


  1. dear fiona,

    i admire the way you are taking care of your skin. it will thank you 1000x over in just a few short years.

    if you would like, email me and i will send you an awesome meditation link. i think you will love it.


  2. Fiona,

    You have reminded me that I need to exfoliate my hands and body regularly. I'm great about getting to my face and neck, but the rest of me needs some attention!

    I've been thinking a lot about some of the products I use. But lotions and liquid soaps I buy at the supermarket or drug store are full of things I can't pronounce. What am I rubbing on my skin? Parisienne Farmgirl's blog last week about 10 things you can do to be healthier really opened my eyes. Since then I've been reading more labels and freaking myself out.
    I ordered a book yesterday that I read about online somewhere (can't remember) called "No More Dirty Looks" about the cosmetic industry and all the chemicals and such they put into their products.
    I'm excited to read it, but I'm a little worried I'll be throwing lots of stuff away. I'll start with a cheap purchase though, and get some baking soda to exfoliate my body! That will be my first chic habit.



  3. I've added exfoliating my face as one of my habits and I see such a difference. My skin is less dry and more in the normal range. I love one minute manicure! I may try to make my own with sugar, almond oil and a little essential oil. I don't do that now because I simply do not have the product. In the meantime I'm going to mix up a sample of body oil that I have along with another sample of an exfoliator that is too rough for my face. I'm glad I have a purpose for them now.

    I like your visual of Sabine not sitting around watching tv. It's a great motivator!

  4. I need to return to a routine masking of my face -- at least once a week.

    I also need to moisturize my feet every night.

  5. This is a great reminder that we don't need a fancy spa to feel relaxed and take care of ourselves. Although it's nice to do every once in a while. I really liked the rose meditation. I'll have to check out that book. Thanks for the great post.

  6. I use ChiQui Beaute Mud to Go facial mud masks and I love them! The cool thing about these masks is that they come in travel-sized portions so they always stay fresh and are available whenever you need them. And they're paraben-free and preservative-free so they won't harm your skin. I love using these masks because there are two types of masks that target two different problems: Clogged pores (Purifying mask) and hyperpigmentation (Lightening mask). I used to have pimples on my forehead and around my chin, but after using the Purifying mask for almost two months, I can see a huge difference in my skin. I don't breakout as much and my skin doesn't produce as much oil. The Lightening mask faded my old acne scars, especially the ones on my forehead. After using the Purifying mask, I like using their Hydrating sheet mask, which moisturizes my skin for 24 hours. It's like an at-home facial without the huge pricetag. These masks really work! I recommended them to my friends and they love it as well. Their website is I used the coupon code "J10DOLLAROFF" and got $10 off my purchase! P.S. If you request a sample from them, they will send you one! Hope this helps! :)

  7. Janet, thank you for the offer. I have just emailed you.

    Adrienne, I too have read Parisienne Farmgirl's post. I definitely read labels when I'm purchasing (and buying organic skincare sometimes) but will continue to use up what I've got. Surely finishing up a bottle can't hurt me... can it?

    Stephanie, I love your idea of using up unwanted facial products on your body. I have a few items I can think of that I will be doing just that with.

    M, moisturing your feet at night sounds so luxurious. I already do hands, wrists and decolletage, but feet would be nice too. I occasionally rub lavender oil into the soles, it's meant to seep up and help you sleep.

    Kamani, thanks for dropping by. I love your Project 3-Pan idea.

    Jessica, thanks for the product info. I'll have to see if it's available here in New Zealand.

  8. Regarding body exfoliation, I highly recommend Dermalogica's 'The Ultimate Buffing Cloth'. If you like lotions and potions then it may not be for you, but I personally love it and find it works wonders, and the cloth seems to last forever. At first I thought NZ$40 was a lot for something that looks like a piece of bath cleaner fabric, but I haven't looked back and can't imagine how much I would have spent on exfoliants otherwise.

    Apricot kernel oil makes a lovely body moisturiser too, and you can always add some essential oils to it.

    It gets exhausting reading labels, so buying a pure oil (that works) makes life so much easier!

  9. You've reminded me of something I have tucked away in a cupboard, an exfoliator for the hands that my son bought me for mother's day. It's a really good product, and I've used about half of it, but it got put in a cupboard and I forgot about it.

    While I believe it's important to exfoliate and moisturize the face and body, which I've been trying to do, I believe it's the hands that give away our age before anything else.

    So this afternoon I think I'll dig out that exfoliator and give myself a nice manicure. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Jackie, it's true - hands give the age away. Isn't it exciting when you re-remember something you already have when you needed it. I slather my hands in cream many times per day. I'm hoping to keep them young.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...